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UFIEKJ-20-3 Professional, Ethical and Policy issues.

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Presentation on theme: "UFIEKJ-20-3 Professional, Ethical and Policy issues."— Presentation transcript:

1 UFIEKJ-20-3 Professional, Ethical and Policy issues

2 Regulating Cyberspace Should cyberspace be regulated? Can it be regulated? Who should be responsible for carrying out the regulatory functions – the government, private organizations, big business, or Internet users themselves?

3 Two Different Senses of “Internet Regulation” To "regulate" typically means to monitor or control a certain product, process, or set of behaviors according to certain requirements, standards, or protocols. At least two different senses of “regulation” have been used: – regulating the content of cyberspace, as in the case of whether on-line pornography and hate speech should be censored on the 'Net. – processes – i.e., rules and policies should be implemented and enforced in commercial transactions in cyberspace.

4 Four Ways of Regulating Cyberspace Lessig (1999) describes four distinct but interdependent constraints, which he calls "modalities," for regulating behavior: – Laws; – social norms; – market pressures; – Architecture (code).

5 Analogy: Regulating Smoking Behavior in Physical Space Using the Lessig Model, we can: – 1. Pass Laws Against Smoking; – 2. Apply Social Pressure (Norms); – 3. Apply Market Pressure (e.g., in Pricing Practices); – 4. Use Architecture (e.g., no cigarettes in vending machines).

6 Privatizing Information Policy Litman (1999) argues that information policy in cyberspace is becoming increasingly privatized. – In 1998 US Congress passed three copyright-related acts that favoured commercial interests: the DMCA, SBCTEA, and the NET Act. – Thefederal government transferred the process of registering domain names from the National Science Foundation – an independent government regulatory body – to ICANN, a private group that has been favorable to commercial interests. – The Recording Industry of America sought to ban the manufacture of portable MP3 players on grounds that such devices could be used to play pirated music. – The recording industry also tried to pressure computer manufacturers to embed code in their future computer systems that will make it impossible to use personal computers to download MP3 files and to burn CDs.

7 Free Speech vs. Censorship and Content Control in Cyberspace Should certain forms of speech on the Internet be censored? Do all forms of speech deserve to be protected? According to the First Amendment of the US Constitution: – Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press... But… The right to free speech is a conditional right.

8 Censorship Catudal (1999) believes that an important distinction can be drawn between two types of censorship: – "censorship by suppression“; – "censorship by deterrence.” Both forms of censorship presuppose that some "authorized person or group of persons" has judged some text or "type of text" to be objectionable on moral, political or other grounds.

9 Censorship by suppression Censorship by suppression affects the prohibition of the objectionable "text" or material from being published, displayed, or circulated. Banning certain kinds of books from being published or prohibiting certain kinds of movies to be made would be examples of censorship by suppression. In this scheme, pornography and other objectionable forms of speech would not be allowed to exist on the Internet.

10 Censorship by deterrence Censorship by deterrence is a less drastic means of censoring. It does not suppress or block out objectionable material or forbid it from being published. Rather, it depends on threats of arrest, prosecution, conviction, and punishment against those who make an objectionable "text" available and those who acquire it. Heavy fines and possible imprisonment can be used to deter the publication and acquisition of this objectionable content.

11 Two types of Controversial Speech in Cyberspace In addition to pornography, two additional kinds of speech that have been controversial in cyberspace are: – hate speech; – forms of speech that can cause physical harm to individuals and communities. Hate speech on the Internet often targets members of certain racial and ethnic groups: – By racist organizations such as the Klu Klux Klan (KKK) or the British National Party (BNP) – Because of the Internet, international "hate groups," such as "skin heads" in America, Europe, and Russia, can spread their messages of hate in ways that were not previously possible.

12 Speech That Can Cause Harm to Others Some forms of hate speech on the Internet are such that they might also result in physical harm being caused to individuals e.g. stalker sites. Other forms of this speech are, by the nature of their content, biased towards violence and physical harm to others. Two examples of how certain forms of speech on the Internet can result in serious physical harm: – information on how to construct bombs; – information on how to abduct children for the purpose of molesting them.

13 Software Filtering Programs Software filters are programs that screen Internet content and block access to unacceptable Web sites. Filtering out objectionable material through the use of the keyword "sex" could block out important literary and scientific works. – E.g.., it could preclude one's being able to access certain works by Shakespeare, as well as books on biology and health. Filtering schemes that are too broad, however, might not successfully block non-obvious pornographic Web sites Software filtering programs such as NetNanny are available but many of these programs appear inadequate. Some filters have been criticized because they screen too much, and others because they screen too little. Rosenberg (2001) notes that filters could also be used by conservative school boards to block out information about evolutionary theory.

14 Defamation and self regulation Libelous speech on the Internet can be distinguished from certain kinds of inflammatory speech. Inflammatory remarks made in on-line forums are sometimes referred to as "flames." But most "flames" do not meet the legal standards of defamation. On-line Flames, as in the case of genuine defamatory remarks, are still problematic. In response to behavior involving flaming, some on-line user groups have developed their own rules of behavior or "netiquette" (etiquette on the Internet). – For example, some Internet chat rooms have instituted rules to the effect that any individual who "flames" another member of the group will be banned from the chat room.

15 The options for regulation Based on Lessig’s framework we can: – Pass laws (who? and where would they apply?) – Apply social norms – “netiquette” – Apply market pressures – e.g. feedback on Ebay or Amazon – Use architecture (code) – filtering software, try to control ISPs, introduce multi-tiered internet Problems – Difficult to enforce law internationally – Requires massive extension of surveillance technology – Social norms and market pressure weak in networks – Restricts innovation and free-speech

16 Changes to the Architecture of Control Lessig and Samuelson argue that the internet is being directed towards greater regulation, – at a corporate level with a view to maximising the returns to copyholders and the opportunities of ecommerce in IP. – any weakening of the particular end-to-end architecture of the net with its lack of central control and open-source standards will ultimately favour an increase in state regulation. the actual architecture of the internet (its code) could be equally permissive or restrictive – it could be used to widen access to information of all kinds or – it could be used to regulate such access

17 Changes to the Architecture of Control DMCA (1998) and EU Directive (2003) Digital Rights Management Threats to network neutrality Do legal and technical innovations introduce an absolute property right? Code as the new paradigm for content protection - Copyright law was the old paradigm Content owners want to control 3 parties – Content consumers – Consumer hardware manufacturers – Content intermediaries (ISPs etc)

18 Layers Argument

19 Changes to the Architecture of Control Interference with the layers model of the internet – e2e ('end to end') network design Philosophy of the original Internet designers 'Smart' features are at the margins Anyone can add a new application to the net Network controllers do not decide applications allowed – Innovation irrespective of the wishes of network owners 'Code' helps determine the level of innovation Absence of control by code here enables innovation

20 Factors Threatening Freedom of Internet Code becoming less free, e.g., – QoS solutions – Circumventing TCP/IP IP laws expanded Governments and corporations monitoring and filtering traffic, threatening privacy, DPI Providers (e.g., cable companies) regulating network use. Vertical integration in the corporate ownership of content, code and physical layers.


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